Everything’s Just Peachy (Or, The Pie Lady Speaks)

In a previous post, I promised to show you how to turn this…

Into this.

But first, a story…

Back in the trucking days, we didn’t get much “home time.”  The hubby and I were on the road together for weeks, or he’d have to head out for deliveries in one direction while I headed the opposite way.

Don’t get me wrong.  I relished the thrill of driving a big rig into the unknown, meeting interesting people and eating great food.  But, I missed my comfort zone — my kitchen — and the longing for “homemade” wouldn’t let up until I stood in front of my stove.

Everyone has their own idea of the ultimate “homemade” treat.  For me, it’s pie.  Maybe I watched one too many episodes of “Bonanza.”  The way Hoss’s eyes lit up when he spied a pie cooling on a window sill made me want to feed that man.  Or at least make him a pie.

After coveted weekends at home, we couldn’t possibly eat all of the goodies I made, so we’d bring them OTR (over the road) to share with our customers.  Enroute, I felt like a pirate with a booty of oven-lovin’ tucked under the sleeper bed. :)

Soon, our favorite customers became accustomed to receiving a homemade pie (or two) along with 50,000 pounds of steel, and it wasn’t long before they dubbed me The Pie Lady.

On trips when I was dispatched elsewhere, I’d send pies along with the hubby to drop off with the following instructions:  “Please put them in the break room so everybody gets a slice.”  (The fellow at the front desk had a real hankerin’ for pie.)

After one such delivery, my hubby returned to the steel yard to pick up a second load.  When he walked into the office, he caught the yard manager with a fork in hand, sneaking “bites” from his desk drawer.  He’d stashed a whole blueberry pie in his desk!  Another Hoss.

(Such is the power of pie.)

Ladies and gentlemen, start your ovens.  But first, start your stove.

Back in the early pie-making days, I never knew when fruit pies were “done enough.”  Was the filling set — or soup?  Was it cooked — or crunchy?  Plus, I got tired of boil-overs, burnt crusts and fricassee’d fingers.  Ouch.

Then I came up with an idea:  “Why not cook the filling on top of the stove first?”  Not only did it take the mystery out of “doneness,” it ultimately cut down on baking time.  (Less time in the kitchen meant more time to play!)

I’ll interject “the recipe” here so it’s easier to follow along…

Homemade Peach Pie

5 c. sliced fresh peaches

2 Tbsp. water

2 Tbsp. butter

3/4 c. sugar, divided

3 Tbsp. flour

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg (freshly grated)

Pinch of salt

Pastry for a 9″ double-crust pie

Extra sugar for “dusting”

First, peel yourself a mess of peaches. (For an easy “how to,” click here.  Thanks, Dara!)  Next, cut them in half, remove the pits, and slice them into 1/4″ slices.

Place the sliced peaches in a large non-stick skillet over low heat.  Sprinkle with water and half the sugar.  Dot with butter.  Cover and cook, stirring occasionally.  (I use a wide spatula to “lift” the peaches from the bottom and gently mix them to retain their “sliced” shape.)

Meanwhile, combine the remaining sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; set aside.

This is generally when I make my crusts (while the peaches cook.)  Since everyone has their own “secret” pie crust recipe and some recipes require chilling, I won’t tell you how and when to make it.  But I will share my secret weapon.  Waxed paper.

I ran across this crust-making method many (many, many…) years ago and it was SO easy and SO non-messy, it made perfect sense.  Roll it out between waxed paper.  (I know, I know — it’s not “old school,” but it beats prying crust off of the counter or extricating it from your rolling pin.)  It also allows you to use less liquid — be it water, milk or cream.  Less liquid = flakier crust.

While you might have to experiment to get the proportions right, pie crust has never been easier, or as fast.  (Dare I say “It’s easy as pie?”)

Be sure to keep an eye on your peaches during this time!

Another crust-making tip:  You don’t need as much liquid as you think you do.  (If you overdo it, it’ll stick to the waxed paper.)  But, pie crust is forgiving and I’ve made many a “patched pie” that’s turned out just fine.  Take it a tablespoon at a time and trust that it’ll hold together once you start rolling.

Also, pie crust ala waxed paper makes it easier to transfer it to the pie plate — just peel off one side, “flip it,” center it and peel off the other side.  (Sorry, no photos to go with that tutorial.)

Now, preheat your oven to 400° F.

After the peaches have begun to soften, sprinkle the flour/sugar mixture over the top.  Stir gently to distribute and keep stirring!   (It thickens fairly quickly.)  When the filling becomes clear and bubbly, remove from heat and cool slightly.  Have your pie crusts at the ready and don’t overcook the filling; the fruit will cook down “just right” during the remaining time in the oven.

Carefully fill the bottom crust, then add the top crust.  (Don’t worry if the top crust looks like it’s “melting” — it’ll all work out, trust me.)  Trim the edges, crimp them, cut slits for steam, and sprinkle with with sugar.  Bake 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the filling starts bubbling through the vents.  Remove pie from oven and cool on a wire rack.

This method works equally well for apple and berry pies, bearing in mind that fruit differs in the amount of time needed to cook, depending on the variety you use.  (Sigh… so much information, so little time.)  It’s difficult to condense 35 years (ahem) of experience into one post.

If only I could make you a pie instead… 

What’s your favorite?

Last but not least, since this post is about sharing (or at least I hope y’all took it that way), please click on this link for ways to show the world it’s more blessed to give than receive.  Not everyone has it “peachy.”  I highly encourage you to read it — or better yet, link with a post of your own.

And while you’re at it, have a piece of pie.  There’s a little bit of Hoss in all of us. :)

Enjoying “home time” at last,

~ Kim

41 thoughts on “Everything’s Just Peachy (Or, The Pie Lady Speaks)

  1. I just want you to know that when you post these photos I want to drop everything I’m working on: PROJECTSpapersPERFUNCTORYposts (never) and hop on the next plane to bask in the warmth of your kitchen and savor every delicious bite of that beautiful pie.

    Somehow, when I look at your photos and your words, I know you have achieved the perfect harmony that is still just a wee bit beyond my grasp. Inching forward ever so slowly. . .

    • Thank you, Amber! I hope my link generates many more thoughts (and deeds) from like-minded “givers.” Thank YOU for sharing the love, cliche’ as that sounds… :)
      ~ Kim

    • Isabelle, I’m tickled that you saved this post — you have no idea how many of your’s I’ve “bookmarked” to go back and enjoy over and over. Thanks, dear friend!
      ~ Kim

  2. Man, I wish peaches in Oklahoma would have been available this year! I normally buy a few bushels (well, a few being 6 or so) and cut them up and freeze them for winter use! This looks wonderful and I love the idea of cooking the peaches on the stove! Maybe I can scrounge up a few good peaches soon!

    P.S. Gonna be down your way soon for a mini-vacation! Any good things to do in that area or good places to eat??? (you can email me if you have suggestions that’d be awesome!)

    • Hey, Missy! I was missing those Porter peaches, too (THE BEST), but got lucky (aka blessed) at the grocery store with a decent batch. Stay tuned for an e-mail and make-shift travel guide. We seldom go anywhere! But I’ll try. :)
      ~Kim

  3. I love this post and your pie looks amazing. I’ve just started to dip my toe into baking (I’m a much better cook). Hopefully one day mine will come close to yours! And I’m sure my husband would be equally excited

    • The funny thing is, my hubby isn’t a big “sweets” person. (Guess you know who consumes most of it…) But he appreciates having homemade treats and will occasionally eat pie for breakfast — especially pumpkin — HELLO autumn! :)
      ~ Kim
      P.S. Trust your cooking instinct for baking!

  4. What a story! What a PIE! I love it! I roll my pie crusts between waxed paper….I bet the plastic wrap is more flexible! Thanks for sharing such a GREAT recipe!

    • Hi, Ann! I’ve tried plastic wrap, too, but it’s too “floppy,” especially when transferring the crust to the pie plate. Waxed paper RULES — as you’ve already figured out. Thanks for stopping by to comment — you’re a busy girl on FoodBuzz these days! :)
      ~ Kim

  5. On the road together for weeks?? Gosh, it’s hard for me to imagine as I’m a city gal. U get the luxury of fresh fruits etc while I eat those imported stuff. LOL! Just the fresh air is enough for me to rejuvenate. Hahaha!

    I’d a chance to do a farm stay when I visited New Zealand years ago & I love it. Life’s so different from the city….. Hope I get to taste your cooking one day :)

    • Well, Shirley, my hubby is building an airplane, but I don’t think it’ll be ready for a trans-Pacific flight anytime soon. (Plus I can’t offer you free airfare, like Angry Birds, lol.) It would be an honor to have you visit — only I’d make you cook for ME! :)
      ~ Kim

  6. Loved your post! I like hearing about your days as a trucker (you are a woman of MANY and diverse talents =), and the peach pie looks divine. Would you pretty please share your crust recipe? Because I want to make pies just like yours for my Bible study group. THey’re at our house every other week. Tonight I have 2 chess pies to serve, but I cheated and bought the crust. Next time I’d LOVE to make your peach pies!

    • Jenna, that’s so cool. I’ve only made one chess pie in my life! (But as I recall, it was oh so good and oh so Southern!) Kudos for being a Windy City gal with a down home heart. :)
      ~ Kim

  7. I’ll be making a pie in the next few days. I feel like it’s been forever since I made one, unless quiche counts lol. I only hope mine turns out as gorgeous as yours, in apple, though. BTW..love the story of how you became ‘the pie lady’ and the Bonanaza reference. Great read!

    • Quiche ALWAYS counts! I use this method for that, and also for Chicken Pot Pie. (Savory pies are just as yummy as sweet!) Thanks for stopping by, Lisa!
      ~ Kim

    • Mike, I’ve led a lo-n-n-ng (ha ha) and interesting life and food plays a major part of it. :) But the trucking days were definitely fun! Glad you enjoyed the post!
      ~ Kim

  8. Loved reading your interesting post, and love your fresh peach pie! I have to admit that fresh peach pie is my most favorite pie…as it is in ice cream, as well. A long time childhood favorite of mine!
    Gorgeous and delicious pie, and great recipe…thanks for sharing:DDD
    Buzzed!!!

    • Thank you so much, Elisabeth! I took one of my peach pies to share at an ice cream social recently and discovered that another lady had made homemade peach ice cream — a match made in heaven! I had to contain my “audibles” — ooooh…yummm! You would’ve loved it! :)
      ~ Kim

    • Thanks, Maia! I was trying to think of a song to go with this post :) but all I could think of was Mozart! (Something happy!) Do you suppose he liked pie? (Did they even have pie back then?!) Thanks again for visiting!
      ~ Kim

    • Thank you, Christina! I’m still blown away by your latest post — loved hearing your “voice” and getting a glimpse of “you!” You go, girl!
      ~ Kim

  9. Pingback: Join Us! A #GoWithout Mashup | A Day Without Sushi

  10. Pingback: Give back and go without (it’s not thatttt hard…) – Natalie Hartford

  11. Beautiful looking pie Kim! And your mention about “Bonanza” and Hoss just transported me back to my childhood, I think Michael Landon wasn’t even starring in “Little House on the Prarie” yet during “Bonanza”! Fond memories!

    • It’s amusing to think how many of us watched the same TV shows as children — but then, there weren’t as many shows to watch “back in the day!” lol. It bonds us to a special time in our lives, and to each other!
      ~ Kim

Your thoughts are valued. What's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s